Show us the money was the message to Europe from the meeting in Mexico of finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 world’s leading economies.
They said Europe must find billions more to fight its debt crisis if it wanted additional help from the rest of the world.
That put more pressure on Germany – the region’s top economy and likely largest contributor – to drop its opposition to a bigger bailout fund for Europe.
The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde said: “We have understood from the euro partners, in particularly from Germany, that the solidity and credibility and adequacy of the firewall of the eurozone will be reviewed in the course of March.”
She added: “It’s an important step along the way for all G20 members to actually determine their participation in the increase of the firepower of the fund.”
The EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, Olli Rehn, urged Europe’s leaders to get on with it, saying a crucial lesson from the crisis has been “the longer we wait the more costly it tends to get”.
Germany has sent conflicting signals on whether it is ready to stump up more. As the G20 meeting started German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble wrote in a Mexican newspaper column: “Should we increase the firewalls even more? The response is a resounding no.’‘
He went on: “This would not only not solve the problems of debt and competitiveness that brought the affected countries to their current state of affairs, it would also discourage their governments from carrying out consolidation and reform.”
Schauble also rejected sharing other eurozone country debts or expanding the euro money supply to meet countries’ budget gaps.